Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Michael J. Fox commercial

Just in case you wanted to see the controversial Michael J. Fox campaign ad for yourself, here you go. Remember, this is the ad in which the illustrous Rush Limbaugh accused Fox of acting.

Some things never end

Looks like President Bush just can't get enbough of Sen. John Kerry. Bush took time on Tuesday to take a few unnecesary slams at Kerry. Instead, maybe Bush should be a little more concerned about what will happen to his ill-advised political agenda once the GOP loses its gripn on Congress. Click here to read The New York Times.

Pine Belt Senate race

If you are interested in the District 41 state Senate race, which is set for Tuesday, Nov. 7, click here and you will find a list of links at the Hattiesburg American to audio interviews with each candidate. All candidates were invited to meet with the American's editorial board.

Candidate forum in Greenville

The Delta Democrat Times in Greenville has coverage in the Tuesday edition of a televised forum in which candidates for the District 34 state House seat were grilled by a panel of journalists. Click here to read the story. And vote Democrat.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Reasons 10, 11, 12 to vote Democrat

20 Reasons to vote Democratic: The count continues.

Reason 10: Hospital tax. A change in federal guidelines led to a $90 million shortfall in Mississippi’s Medicaid program. Republican Gov. Haley Barbour and the state’s Division of Medicaid then decided to tax hospitals in order to make up the difference. That’s right – Barbour took it upon himself to help cover the shortfall by charging up to a 1 percent tax on the gross revenue of hospitals. Plans changed when Barbour reported earlier this month he no longer planned to impose the hospital tax this fall. That move, however, doesn’t erase this key point: Barbour sidestepped the Mississippi Legislature and was about to impose his own tax – something that surely would have been passed on to hospital patients, many of whom scrape their bank accounts to pay for medical care. Why take any chances Barbour might try something similar again in the future? Make a difference. Vote Democratic on Nov. 7.

Reason 11: Help working families. Republicans in Washington certainly can’t point to helping rank-and-file Americans – not with consumer prices on the rise and employee wages on the decline. Yet that’s exactly what President Bush and fellow Republicans are doing. And this comes despite the fact that Republicans have blocked raising the national minimum wage of $5.15 an hour, handed out tax giveaways to oil companies and sold America into debt. The facts, however, speak for themselves. Can the United States and the working class – the man-on-the-street who barely makes enough to sustain his family – stand another term with Republicans at the helm? Vote Democratic on Nov. 7 and make a difference.

Reason 12: Stop the tax increases. Republican Gov. Haley Barbour likes to talk about how he opposes any kind of tax increase, including raising the state sales tax, the state income tax and even the state tobacco tax. But take a closer look at the governor’s first three years and you’ll find a different story – one in which many local governments were forced to raise property taxes to help fund public schools because Barbour has fought fully funding K-12 education. Barbour passed the buck. At the same time, Barbour opposes proposals to cut the state sales tax on groceries and increase the state tax on cigarettes – a confused, mixed message, to say the least. Everyone has to eat, but not everyone smokes.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Reason 9 to vote Democratic

Reason 9 to vote Democratic on Nov. 7: Gasoline prices.

Remember when gasoline cost $1 a gallon? How about $1.50 a gallon? Those days are long gone as the cost to fill your tank has grown steadily to coincide with the rising price of crude oil, the staggering profits of oil companies and the never ending war in Iraq.

This year, the price of crude oil reached record heights. Consequently, we’ve felt the pain at the pump as gasoline soared close to, and in some places topped, the $3-a-gallon mark. Meanwhile, companies such as Exxon Mobile Corp. have enjoyed billions of dollars in record profits.

On Thursday, Exxon Mobil reported its earnings rose to a whopping $10.49 billion in the third quarter – the second-largest quarterly operating profit ever recorded by a publicly traded U.S. company.

With that said, doesn’t it appear even the slightest bit odd – as well as incredibly coincidental – that weeks away from the November election motorists have seen gasoline prices suddenly drop from close to $3 a gallon to less than $2 a gallon in some places?

It certainly looks like someone wants you to conveniently forget about rising pump prices, record oil company profits and the untold hundreds of extra dollars you’ve spent to drive to work, shop for food or take the children to school.

Remember this: Republicans have been in charge during the age of skyrocketing gasoline prices and oil companies want to keep it that way. They like the high prices and the record profits, and they don’t want that to change.

But you can make a difference. Vote Democratic on Nov. 7.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

AARP survey on grocery tax reduction

Momentum is starting to build for reducing the sales tax on groceries and raising the tax on cigarettes. Check out a story in the Thursday edition of The Clarion-Ledger and you'll see that an AARP survey shows wide support for the tax swap. With Democrats in favor of this and Republican Gov. Haley Barbour opposed -- all in an electio year -- the 2007 Legislature could be very interesting.

Reason 8 to vote Democratic

Reason No. 8 to vote Democratic on Nov. 7: Save Mississippi’s anti-smoking programs.

When former Democratic Attorney General Mike Moore negotiated a settlement in 1997 to a lawsuit against the tobacco industry, a Jackson County Chancery Court judge established a tobacco prevention pilot program called the Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi.

Because of the program’s success, the chancery court later set aside $20 million a year to fund the Partnership. The organization then continued to spearhead anti-tobacco programs statewide and funded school nurses in some schools.

But Republican Gov. Haley Barbour, a former tobacco lobbyist, and Republican state Treasurer Tate Reeves filed suit. They argued it was unlawful for a court to appropriate money. Barbour won. The Partnership appealed.

And then, on Oct. 19, the Mississippi Supreme Court ruled that the Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi can’t spend any money from the state’s tobacco settlement until the Barbour lawsuit is finally settled.

The ruling, in effect, shuts down most of the Partnership’s programs – and leaves one of Moore’s greatest legacies dangling to life. If state legislators approve a proposal in the 2007 Mississippi Legislature to preserve the Partnership, it likely would need enough support to survive a possible Barbour veto.

You can help. Vote Democratic in races to fill four open state legislative seats – a state House seat on the Mississippi Coast, a state Senate seat in the Pine Belt and a House and Senate seat in the Delta – and help preserve the Partnership.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Reason 7 to vote Democratic

Reason 7 to vote Democratic: Republic morality -- or, rather, the lack of.

While Republicans often embrace religion- and morality-based issues, some party members nevertheless engage in questionable behavior. And, at least in one recent incident, key Republican leaders in Congress apparently knew about a U.S. House member’s questionable behavior for more than a year and did nothing.

The person in question: Former U.S. Rep. Mark Foley. The Florida Republican allegedly sent sexually explicit e-mails and instant messages to male, high school-age pages who worked for him and other congressmen at the U.S. Capitol in Washington.

Foley abruptly resigned from office Sept. 29 when ABC News confronted him about the issue.

If that’s not enough, consider this: Kirk Fordham, Foley’s one-time chief of staff, said he notified House Speaker Dennis Hastert’s chief of staff in 2003 about Foley’s inappropriate conduct. Obviously, little, if anything, was done.

And that’s simply not acceptable. Let’s put an end to the hypocrisy that has gripped the Republican Party, which has long tried to maintain a monopoly on morality issues and has failed. Vote Democratic.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Reason 6 to vote Democratic

Reason 6 to vote Democratic on Nov. 7: Hurricane Katrina grant program.

Congress approved $5 billion in Hurricane Katrina aid for Mississippi in December 2005. About $3 billion was used for the Homeowner Grant Program to financially help homeowners who flooded even though they lived outside the federal flood zone.

But here we are, nearly 14 months since Katrina devastated the Coast, and the Homeowner Grant program is moving at a snail’s pace. As of Oct. 11, for example, 1,300 checks had been written to Coast residents even though more than 17,000 people applied.

Republican Gov. Haley Barbour and the Mississippi Development Authority, whose executive director Barbour appointed, should be embarrassed. They are administering the program – one of Barbour’s top storm relief programs – and they are dragging their feet.

You can make a difference: Vote Democratic and help those who need our help.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Fleming interviewed by The Meridian Star

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Erik Fleming is featured today in The Meridian Star in a front-page Editorial Board interview. You can read the entire interview by clicking here.

20 Reasons in 20 Days

In case you haven't been following it, the Mississippi Democratic Party has kicked off a media campaign to drum up interest in the Nov. 7 election and to point out why Democratic candidates offer the best for the future of the state and the nation.

At stake on Nov. 7: A U.S. Senate seat, four U.S. House seats, a state Senate seat in the Delta, a state House seat in the Delta, a state Senate seat in the Pine Belt and a state House seat on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Democrats are running in each race.

So we have created a campaign we call 20 REASONS TO VOTE DEMOCRATIC. And we are releasing one a day through Election Day.

A quick review so far:

REASON 1: Fully fund education. Republican Gov. Haley Barbour has fought this issue repeatedly, but with Democrats backing public education it's time to make a move. Vote Democratic, put good people in office and fund education. (Issued Thursday, Oct. 19)

REASON 2: Raise the minimum wage. Republican U.S. Sen. Trent Lott has opposed an increase in the minimum wage nine straight times, with the latest vote coming June 21. That proposal would have increased the minimum wage from $5.15 an hour to $7.25 an hour. (Issued Friday, Oct. 20)

REASON 3: National unity. Public opinion polls show a growing number of people oppose the Iraq war or disapprove of the way President Bush has handled the war on terrorism. Bush also has gone on the defensive with a series of speeches hopelessly comparing terrorist leaders to Hitler. Meanwhile, bipartisanship is a thing of the past. (Issued Saturday, Oct. 21)

REASON 4: Reduce grocery tax. Democrats in the Mississippi Legislature voted earlier this year for two separate bills, one to phase-out by 2014 the state tax of 7 cents on the dollar charged on the purchase of groceries and another to cut the tax in half. At the same time, the proposals would have raised the state cigarette tax from 18 cents to $1 a pack. Barbour vetoed both bills. (Issued Sunday, Oct. 22)

REASON 5: Oust Republican U.S. Sen. Trent Lott.
Lott, who has held his U.S. Senate seat since he was elected in 1988 to replace retiring Sen. John Stennis, obviously thinks he is above discussing his stand on state and national issues. Lott has refused to debate Democratic opponent Erik Fleming. (Issued Monday, Oct. 23)

Taylor campaign profiled

U.S. Rep. Gene Taylor'scampaign is profiled in the Moday edition of The Clarion Ledger. Click here to view the story.